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they could be removed from the field. The moon rose pale and sickly, shedding a mournful light on every object around; and Conrad, as he contemplated this awful picture of destruction, felt inclined to forswear the life of a soldier: but every pursuit has its pleasures, as well as pains; and the gloom of the young man was soon dispelled by the wild gaieties of a camp in the beautiful climate of Portugal.
There is an air of nonchalance and good fellowship appertaining to the military, altogether peculiar to persons of that profession; a thoughtlessness of past, present, and coming events, found only in a camp, where danger, honour, death, and victory are ever present to the mind's
eye; where the boon companions or the affectionate friends may in an instant be for ever separated by the all-powerful and unforeseen hand of the great enemy. And a wise dispensation is it that the case is thus; for happiness and health would be equal strangers in a community where every succeeding day brings its list of victims, should casualties be deplored to the extent they would command in the regular course of nature. What man would boldly charge the enemies of his country, if he thought of the wounds or
death that might be his portion? It is true, death may find him in the shape of a musket or a cannon ball, a bayonet or sabre may maim him, but the bright side is always contemplated by youth; and fame, glory, and honour present themselves to his ambitious view in the laurelled train of victory. In the bright effulgent rays of success every evil is disregarded, and joy and merriment reign paramount in the bosom, which in a few short hours may lie still in death.
With this feeling Conrad was imbued in common with his companions; and employment, change of scene, and similar occurrences, speedily erased all remembrance of his sensations at Talavera. His letters from England were kind and affectionate, and tended, in no small degree, to encourage him in the life, which he found, on a nearer inspection, was not all sunshine. In fact, in common with the rest of the army, he had to combat with many and great difficulties; but, like his companions, he conquered them all, and attracted the notice of his superiors by his uniform good conduct.
About this time he heard, with unfeigned regret, of Mrs. Camden's death, who, having taken a violent cold, sunk under an attack of inflammation : from her, Conrad had never received much kindness, but he loved her for his benefactor's sake, who, he knew, would heavily feel the blow; and he felt the loss accordingly.
At the actions of Busaco and Barossa, in the former of which he was slightly wounded, Conrad preserved his character as a gallant and rising officer: he was now a lieutenant, and looked confidently forward to the possession of a company, when the fierce, sanguinary, and glorious struggle at Albuera took place. The morning of that day dawned, and found high hopes and noble courage burning bright in Conrad's breast, as he joined his corps, and accompanied it to the battle field. He was wounded in the thigh, from a bayonet thrust, early in the engagement, of which, however, he took no farther notice, though bleeding profusely, than by binding his handkerchief round it, when he received a musket-ball in the side, and the gallant youth fell among heaps of dead and dying heroes. It was nearly dark when he recovered from his swoon, the firing had entirely ceased, and he endeavoured to raise himself and look around : his attempts were but partially successful, for his wounds were stiff and painful, and his right arm he felt was broken; burning thirst tormented him, and his exertions caused his blood to flow afresh; yet his spirits revived, when his partial survey enabled him to ascertain, that soldiers were occupied at a short distance in bearing off the wounded, and he rejoiced in the prospect of assistance. He endeavoured to attract their attention, but his parched and fevered lips refused to articulate any sound likely to be heard at such a distance, and he relinquished the painful effort, and submitted patiently to his fate. He had not remained in this state many minutes when he heard a stifled groan near him,-a second, and a third, convinced him the person was reviving; when, suddenly, the heap of bodies against which he was leaning began to move, and in a few minutes a private of his own company crawled out, exclaiming, “ Ochone! ochone! Terry thought he was kilt, but I suppose he was only asleep. An uncommon heavy covering those chaps are, though!” As he rose upon his feet, his eye fell upon our hero; and he continued,
" Ochone !
honour's self in such a plight; I was just raising ye up, when one of those mounseers gave me such a rap on the head with the but-end of his musket. Confound the French rascal !” (rubbing the side of his head ;) “ he has almost broke in my upper story; but what for do I stay here, while your honour's bleeding so fast. I will soon bring some one to help you;" so saying he ran off towards his companions, who accompanied him to the spot where Blessington lay. He again became insensible directly he was moved, and in that condition was taken to camp, where, for some time, he lay in a most dangerous state. Youth, and a good constitution, however, at length determined the struggle; and, by slow degrees, Conrad recovered so far, after three months of intense suffering, as to be removed by short journeys to Lisbon; where he embarked for his native country, in company with several officers similarly situated. Being incapable of using his right arm, he had deputed a friend, some time before, to write to England, stating his situation and probable return, forwarding the letter by a private hand; consequently, he judged it was unnecessary to